Written by Joe Wolverton, II, J.D. In the opinion, Judge Andrew Gordon published that there have been two relevant questions in the entire case of Anthony Mitchell v. City of Henderson. Gordon ruled that the answer to both questions was “no” – well, mostly. Mitchell’s home would not meet the criteria as quartering. While Gordon may have been appropriate in this ruling, his language is so wide that it could set an unhealthy precedent actually. First, some background and context. The tale told by Anthony Mitchell of how he and his family were robbed of these rights is compelling and cautionary. Mitchell was sitting down at home in Henderson, Nevada, on the morning hours of July 10, 2011, when the telephone rang.
Officer Christopher Worley of the Henderson Police Department was contacting Mitchell to tell him that the authorities were going to take over his house. In order to gain “tactical advantage” over Mitchell’s next door neighbor, Officer Worley explained reportedly, police were going to create shop in Mitchell’s house. Mitchell had not been asked if he would brain such a surrender of his home.
The official was informing Mitchell that they might be commandeering his house. In his legal problem against the Henderson Police Department, Mitchell promises that he didn’t want to get involved with the police department’s procedure against his neighbor and appropriately refused to let law enforcement occupy his home. Not surprisingly, Mitchell’s refusal didn’t sit down well with police. It isn’t hard in the these times of law enforcement militarization to forecast what happened next.
Just before noon, five (or more) officers of the Henderson Police Department “arrayed themselves in front of plaintiff Anthony Mitchell’s house and prepared to execute their plan,” according to the narrative laid out in Mitchell’s lawsuit. After turning up at Mitchell’s door, the officers allegedly “banged forcefully” on his door and demanded that Mitchell and his family open up. Standing in his living room in shock, Mitchell says that the officials “directed their weapons” at him and ordered him “to lie down on to the floor.” Fearing for his life, Mitchell complied.
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Mitchell says that while he was prostrate on his living room floor, Henderson Police Department officials shouted “conflicting orders” at him, some commanding him to “crawl” toward the officials, with others demanding that he stay put. Terrified and Confused, plaintiff Anthony Mitchell continued to be curled on the floor of his living room, with his hands over his face, and made no motion.
Although plaintiff Anthony Mitchell was resting motionless on the floor and posed no danger, officers, including Officer David Cawthorn, then terminated multiple “pepperball” rounds at plaintiff as he lay down defenseless on the floor of his living room. Anthony Mitchell was struck at least three times by shots terminated from close range, injuring him and causing him severe pain.
Police then got Mitchell in guardianship and, as they reportedly prepared to do, caught him for obstructing a police officer. After arresting Mitchell, officials researched his home, then proceeded to rearrange furniture and set up the tactical lookout they desired all along. While there are few instances on point, one Georgetown law teacher quoted in a Wall Street Journal tale describes the Third Amendment as the “Rosetta Stone of the Bill of Rights.
Third Amendment can disclose the structure of the Bill of Rights, and its objects,” Professor Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz wrote as reported by the Wall Street Journal. A estimate by Joseph Story from his Commentaries on the Constitution confirms Rosenkranz’s view. “This provision talks for itself. Its basic object is to secure the perfect pleasure of that great right of the common law, that a man’s house shall be his own castle, privileged against all civil and military intrusion,” Story had written.
As for the ruling’s possibly dangerous variation between troops and police, thanks to billions in federal grants or loans gobbled up by local law enforcement, that range has been blurred beyond identification. The connection between this professional, civilian standing army and the attack on the right of the people to keep and bear arms has been recognized by modern liberty-minded scholars, as well.